Replace the upper LCD on your Nintendo DS Lite.

  1. Unscrew the Phillips screw securing the battery cover to the lower case.
    • Unscrew the Phillips screw securing the battery cover to the lower case.

    • The screw remains captive to the battery cover.

    • Pry the battery cover upward with a spudger or fingernail, and lift out of the lower case.

    A Phillips #000 (PH000) seems to give a more secure fit (no slipping) than the stated Phillips #00.

    Ritchie - Reply

    This will be good for mods

    Matthew Bevins - Reply

    I'm having a problem getting the screw to unscrew. I have the right Phillips ( it was included with all the stuff I got this) Any tips. it doesn't look like the screw is spinning but i haven't played my Nintendo DS Lite for 3 years.

    whittlegirls - Reply

  2. Wedge the edge of a spudger in between the side of the battery and the lower case housing and pry upward to dislodge the battery.
    • Wedge the edge of a spudger in between the side of the battery and the lower case housing and pry upward to dislodge the battery.

    • Remove the battery from the DS Lite.

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    • Use the tip of a spudger to pry both rubber feet off the DS Lite.

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    • Remove the following screws securing the lower case to the body of the DS Lite:

      • Two 4.3 mm gold Phillips screws

      • One 3.9 mm black Tri-Wing screw

      • One 3.3 mm silver Phillips screw

      • Three 5.5 mm silver Tri-Wing screws

    Not mentioned is to remove the jumper/connector below the word "SLOT-2". Case WILL NOT separate otherwise.

    Kayla - Reply

    In the separation step below, the third picture show the case with the jumper/connector removed.

    Kayla - Reply

    • Insert the edge of a spudger in between the lower and upper case near the top right corner of the DS Lite.

    • Carefully run the spudger along the right edge of the DS Lite, creating an opening in the process.

    • Continue running the spudger along the backside of the DS Lite until the majority of the lower case has been separated from the upper case.

    Don’t forget to remove the GBA cartridge placeholder before removing the backside

    Cees Jan de Boer - Reply

    • Lift the lower case away from the rest of the DS Lite.

    • Pull carefully. Some units are sealed with adhesive, and pulling too hard can damage the power switch.

    When you reassemble, make sure that you have the volume and power buttons in place, and make sure they are in the right position to line up with the switches on the motherboard. If they are not aligned, you risk snapping off the tiny switches on the motherboard (in which case, you are in for some soldering work).

    Eric - Reply

    I should have read the comments first - broke off the power switch because I didn't know about aligning it. No way I can do soldering, guess it's for the dustbin :-(

    Emma -

    Whoops, remembered the power button but forgot the volume slider.

    I'll do it later.

    analbonghits -

    • Lift both trigger buttons out of the DS Lite.

    • The trigger buttons are held in very loosely by small metal pegs and springs. Don't lose track of these pieces.

    • The second picture shows the correct configuration of the trigger assembly for reassembly purposes.

    Anything after step 7 is unnecessary if having to replace the left or right trigger button(s).

    Nate River - Reply

    The second picture does not show the correct configuration of the button spring. It should be flipped. Look at the trigger on the left of the larger image; that is the correct configuration.

    wrekone - Reply

    • Use the flat edge of a spudger to pry the Wi-Fi antenna connector straight up from its socket on the Wi-Fi board.

    There is absolutely no need to follow steps 8-13 if like me, all you needed to do was access the face buttons for cleaning/replacement. Once you have unscrewed the motherboard from the front casing you can just flip it up, making sure you take the front screen with it. You will have full access to the buttons and all of their contacts. No need to remove the wifi board and microphone cable, etc. Also, replacing the ribbon cables for the screen is especially frustrating. Avoid taking them out at all costs, if you can.

    James McCarthy - Reply

    what is the "etc."?

    Rita Cao -

    • Use the flat edge of a spudger to pry the Wi-Fi board connector straight up from its socket on the motherboard.

    the i was working on had a different wifi connector. i thought a had broken it but the thing underneath it was just to balance it on the motherboard.

    BigD29853 - Reply

    Do you have to put back in the WiFi board? As far as I know it does not require it to play games.

    Aiden Harlin - Reply

    • Use the flat edge of a spudger to separate the right edge of the Wi-Fi board from the motherboard.

    • The Wi-Fi board is secured to the motherboard with a layer of adhesive.

    • Remove the Wi-Fi board from the DS Lite.

    I took it apart successfully and I replaced the screen but I've put it back together and it the green light turns on for about 2seconds quiet dim, brighter for about 1 and then it turns off... I then took the wifi board out, and it turned on! What have I done to it and why doesn't it work with it and only without?!

    Brianlewis - Reply

    Exact same symptoms for me : on boot up, green light would stay on for 1 second, then shut down. Without wifi, green light would stay on, but blank screens. In fact, it's because on boot up, DS will check if wifi is present, and stop if there is an error. Then, it checks for upper screen, and after that, for lower screen. If one of these is not responding, DS will turn off. I check my cables (upper screen) and DS started again with no problem.

    Alexandre - Reply

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    • Use the flat edge of a spudger to pry the microphone connector straight up from its socket on the motherboard.

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    • In the following steps you must pull the antenna cable between the DS Lite game cartridge reader and motherboard. Pull slowly and stop when you feel resistance to avoid damaging the cable or motherboard.

    • Position the antenna cable with its connector facing up and away from the motherboard using a spudger to hold it down lightly in the gap between chips on the motherboard.

    • Slowly and carefully pull the antenna cable until the cable connector is under the DS Lite game cartridge reader.

    • Continue pulling the cable until the cable connector comes out from under the game cartridge reader on the right side.

    • When reassembling and attempting to feed the antenna cable back under the game cartridge reader, the cable may kink or become difficult to feed through. If so, try feeding a piece of thread through first; then, tie the thread to one end of the cable connector and pull it through, guiding it past any obstructions.

    I can't for the life of me get this freaking antenna cable back when putting everything together, it keeps getting stuck under slot-1 ... how do you aid it through? I'm just pushing it through using the cable itself, but the connector gets stuck somewhere close to the other side and the cable pushing won't do anything but flex the cable.

    Peter Marquardt - Reply

    I had some .015" solder that I fed through the other side and wrapped around the antenna cable to help guide it when I was feeding it back through.

    Josh McBroom - Reply

    Fantastic guide, although you !@#$%^&* :P forgot to add that you need a Soldiering Kit at the LAST step, thanks..

    Nate River - Reply

    I did mine without have to soldier, but then again I was cannibalizing the upper screen from one DS to another.

    Christopher Till - Reply

    Tried to add this but unsure if it will stay but here is my advice for the cable feeding.

    When reassembling and attempting to feed the antenna cable back under the DS Lite game cartridge reader the cable will likely kink and be difficult to feed through.

    Therefore tie a piece of white cotton (or another visible colour) thread tightly around the cable, just below the connector. Then feed the cotton under the DS Lite game cartridge reader and through to the other side. Then gently guide the connector back through by pulling on the white thread and moving either up or down to clear obstacles.

    Joel Spencer - Reply

    Attach a thread to the antenna wire BEFORE removing the antenna. Pull the antenna throught with the thread attached. After you get the antenna out, cut the thread from the antenna but LEAVE THE THREAD threaded thru the cartridge slot. Tape it to the cartridge slot so it doesn't fall out while you're working on the DS. After repairing, re-tie the thread to the antenna and use the thread to pull the antenna back thru to where it belongs. PULL GENTLY!

    J S - Reply

    If u remove a bit material from the cover its actually possible to rout this cable over the game card slot.

    yKekS Yzz - Reply

    Cable went right back thru for me! LOL!

    Kayla - Reply

    • Use your fingernail or the edge of a spudger to carefully flip up the touchscreen ribbon cable retaining flap.

    • Make sure you are flipping up the retaining flap, not the socket itself.

    • Use the tip of a spudger to pull the touchscreen ribbon cable straight out of its socket.

    The little black ribbon clip broke off and now I can't put it back on. What do I do now???

    Peter Diaz - Reply

    Same Problem here :( touc dosnt work anymore

    Christian Zimmermann -

    There should be an added caution remark when removing the ribbon cable from the connector. If the black clip breaks, you're screwed. I have found the connector on another website for about $6. Then the issue is having the right tools to remove the broken connector and soldering on the new one.

    Ted - Reply

    How in the world do you get the ribbion cable back in there?

    brent buser - Reply

    I think this is the most difficult step! You need to be most cautious here!

    Karsza M - Reply

    This requires care to make sure the black clip does not break off. If it does, replacing that connector will be a microsoldering job likely to exceed the value of the board.

    It is also worth noting, that you can simply leave this connector as you found it and not remove the ribbon cable, and still complete this repair. Unless you intend to remove the lower LCD from the mainboard or if it is interfering with the microphone cable (white) routing, it will not be an issue.

    Leaving this connected will also help keep the lower LCD from flopping around when you remove the mainboard.

    Christian DeYong - Reply

    This is tricky! I used my finger nail to open it since I was scared to put too much strenght with a spudger. Be really careful when moving the retaining flap. Just open it 90°, no more or you’ll breack it!

    Putting back the ribbon of the (new) touch screen was the hardest part. The ribbon was bent to the side and my fingers too big to grab it withouth bumping on the mother board.

    I finally found that holding the mobo with my left hand, looking at the ribbon from behind and pushing it with my index was more convenient, although my index was bumping on the retaining flap, thus partially closing it. After many trials and sweat, I finally inserted it and closed the flap! But the ribbon detached from te slot! :’( I put it back easily this time (after reopening the flap of course). And closed the retaining flap, pushing a bit harder this time, making sure I could feel a “click” confirming the proper closing. Don’t put too much strenght on it though!

    The slot to insert it is so tiny! Use a magnifying glass if you can.

    Guilhem Gobet - Reply

    • Remove the two 3.4 mm Phillips screws securing the motherboard to the upper case.

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    • Open the display enough to use your finger to push the front edge of the motherboard up and away from the upper case.

    • Do not try to remove the motherboard, as it is still connected to the upper display via the upper LCD ribbon cable.

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    • Use your fingernail or the flat edge of a spudger to carefully flip up the upper LCD ribbon cable retaining flap.

    • Make sure you are flipping up the retaining flap, not the socket itself.

    • Pull the motherboard away from the DS Lite to separate the upper LCD ribbon cable from its socket on the motherboard.

    • Remove the motherboard from the DS Lite.

    • Now you may open the retaining flap for the lower LCD screen in the same way and separate the lower LCD screen from the motherboard.

    this part on putting it back together is a straight nightmare, anyone got some tips on doing this quickly? i'm just getting a flickering bottom screen which is supposed to be an upper display connection problem, not sure if i'm getting the ribbon cable in deep enough. or an up close view of it in there so i know im not forcing it

    Corbin dallas - Reply

    I don't think there's a quick way for this, but I can tell you that the piece at the end is supposed to fit in all the way, and stop when you get to the corners of the bottom of it. A better way to explain this: put it in until you no longer see the gold part of it, or until it reaches the orange part of it.

    SquidCake -

    After my first reassembly, the top screen was not working (bottom screen briefly flashind and DS turning off imediatly after swithcing on).

    I found out it is the top screen that is not connected correctly.

    You have to insert the ribbon until the part which is wider than the rest of the ribbon, almost bumps on the white connector.

    This was too difficult with just my (too big) fingers. I used the spudger to push the ribbon from behind and maintain it when closing the retaining flap. This is kinda tricky, but it worked!

    Guilhem Gobet - Reply

    • Remove the two 8.3 mm Phillips screws securing the upper case to the display assembly.

    These screws were a bit too tight, but I bet it's for a reason. You should probably put it back on as tightly as it was before.

    SquidCake - Reply

    • Pull the upper LCD ribbon cable to the right, through the slit in the case.

    • Push the ribbon cable down through the slit.

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    • Slowly lift the upper case away from the display, making sure the ribbon cable does not get caught.

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    • Once the ribbon cable is free from the upper case, pull the antenna and Wi-Fi cables through the hole in the upper case.

    • Remove the upper case from the DS Lite.

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    • Use a push pin to remove the four plastic screw covers on the front bezel.

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    • Remove the four 3.4 mm Phillips screws securing the rear display bezel to the front display bezel

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    • Use the edge of a spudger to pry both rubber pads out of the front display bezel.

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    • Using two hands, gently slide the rear bezel upwards.

    • The rear bezel will move only about 2 mm.

    I wish I would have read this guide instead of watching videos that did not show this part. Because of this the rear bezel's tabs got deformed and now i can't put it back on. Trying to remove those tabs and just screw it in once its in place

    Vinnesia League - Reply

    • Insert a spudger in the gap between the front and rear display bezels and pry the front bezel away from the rear bezel.

    • Lift the rear display bezel away from the display assembly.

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    • Use the tip of a spudger to pry both speakers up from their housing and place them on the back of the LCD.

    • The speakers have magnets which will hold them together, helping to keep them out of the way for later steps.

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    • Starting in the top right corner, use both hands to slowly separate the LCD from the front display bezel.

    • Continue separating along the top and left edges of the LCD.

    • Finally, push the LCD up and away from the front display bezel.

    • Do not try to remove the LCD yet, as the LCD ribbon cable is still routed through the front display bezel.

    For those putting the DS back together,be ABSOLUTELY SURE that the metal tube used for the hinge is positioned so the gap is 100% front facing, otherwise when opening and closing the lid it it can chew up the ribbon cable, wrecking all your hard work

    luv2nil8 - Reply

    • Desolder the speakers from the upper LCD by heating up the solder joints with a soldering iron and simultaneously pulling the speaker wires away from the ribbon cable.

    • If you have never soldered before, we have a guide that makes it easy.

    • Upper LCD remains.

    You may NOT need to desoldier the speakers.

    I was cannibalizing the upper screen from my daughter's DS to my son's DS and was able to carefully roll the ribbon up and slide it through the hole. Was only going to replace the screen, but ended up replacing both the screen and the speakers.

    Christopher Till - Reply

    There is also a piece of copper tape soldered onto the ribbon cable. Not sure if that's for grounding or heat dissipation, but I transferred it to the new screen also.

    Eric - Reply

    A note to anyone replacing the LCD screen: Your replacement screen will have one or two overlays on top. If it has a thin clear plastic overlay you can remove it from the screen; this overlay is for protection only. There is always a thicker, see-through black plastic overlay (you won't be able to tell it's black unless you remove it). DO NOT REMOVE THE SECOND OVERLAY. You will know if you're removing the wrong overlay because this overlay is rather difficult to remove. If you make the mistake of removing it, stick it back on using a credit card to remove air bubbles. It's also possible to use the overlay off of the original screen, but the adhesive on that overlay is even stronger, making removal tricky.

    Nick G - Reply


To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

66 other people completed this guide.

Matthew Newsom

Member since: 01/05/2010

32,047 Reputation

67 Guides authored


This is a very concise and accurate guide! I found this repair to be very difficult, especially so due to the aftermarket Chinese screen I installed that required me to solder on the speaker wires. Ugh! If you can, get a replacement with the speakers attached. I also can't stress enough how annoying threading the ribbon cable through the case is. DS is a great platform, but product design left a lot to be desired.

scheppdogg532 - Reply

This repair is somewhat difficult. There are a couple of points to be careful about:

1) The display ribbon cable is fairly easy to remove from the hinge, but somewhat difficult to route through it once the new display is in place. It is easier to do if the antenna/microphone wires are out of the way.

2) The ribbon connector is fairly short and difficult to manipulate so that it mates securely to the socket on the motherboard. If it isn't seated properly the DS will not boot. So test it first (by temporarily pressing the battery against the battery connectors and turning power on) before re-assembly.

Kar Wong - Reply

Make a note of where the Wi-Fi antenna connector, microphone, and speaker wires are positioned in the DS Lite housing. If they are not placed back in the correct location, the case will not close. If you force it closed you will squash the wiring which could lead to problems later on. Also be sure the speakers are placed back in correctly. If you can see metal through the speaker holes in the case then you've done it wrong (flip the speakers over). Lastly, when trying to maneuver the antenna connector back under the game cartridge reader, make sure the connector head is face down so that it does not get stuck (happened to me). If you look at the picture in Step 7, it's a straight shot from right to left when running the wire through. Use a paperclip and a flashlight to help you if you get stuck and most importantly, do not try to yank it free!

Nick G - Reply

Funny how these things give you instructions for taking things apart , but not for installing and putting back together. I found routing the screen ribbon through the hinge to be especially difficult and I think I might have damaged it in the process. I wish i would have known that its best to make sure this is done before trying lock the screen case back up.

Sebastian Lopez - Reply

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